Finland's Tampere to host 2018 U-20 athletics worlds

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IAAF, world athletics governing body, decided Thursday at the 203rd council meeting that the Finnish city Tampere, the sole bidder, will host the 2018 under-20 world championships.

The IAAF council fully endorsed its bid, which will bring the age-group IAAF event to the third biggest Finnish city, with the country's capital Helsinki having twice staged the athletics worlds.

"Of course we are happy and proud," said Tampere's deputy mayor Anna-Kaisa Heinamaki who led a bidding delegation. "Organizing major events is part of our strategy to develop our city area and to provide healthier life from the babies to the elderly."

"It is also a great opportunity for us to invest in sport venues and sport clubs. Organizing major events is a great way to combine everyday life exercising and elite sport," added the deputy mayor.

Also during the council meeting, IAAF awarded the 2018 IAAF world half marathon championships to Spanish city Valencia.

"Ten years after hosting the IAAF world indoor championships, and 37 years after hosting the IAAF world race walking cup, Valencia will stage its third IAAF world athletics series event," the IAAF statement said. "It will be the second time Spain has hosted the IAAF world half marathon championships, 22 years after Palma de Mallorca staged the event."

The IAAF council also decided on Thursday that the world indoor tour will be expanded to five meetings in 2017 with the addition of Dusseldorf, Germany, plus one additional meeting in 2018. The World Relays Nassau will be held on 22-23 April 2017, while the Continental Cup Ostrava to be on 7-8 September 2018. Endit

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